While we'd like to think that our smartphones take snazzy pictures, sooner or later the time comes when serious shutterbugs want something better. That's when nothing can beat a dedicated hand-held camera — along with all the supplies and software you need to turn good snapshots into stunning photos.
With our eagle eyes fixed on savings and bargains, today we're looking at great deals in the world of photography and video. And our first deal qualifies as one really worth getting excited about:
Samsung NX100 15MP SLR-Like Digital Camera
Store: Electronics Expo via eBay
Price: $309 plus free shipping
Lowest by: $60
Expires: September 17 at 8:56 am ET
Is it worth it?: The Samsung NX100 proves that digital cameras are getting better almost by the minute; the resolution here is an amazing 14.6 megapixels, and it also includes a 2.5x optical zoom, 3" AMOLED display, 1280x720 maximum video resolution, support for SD and SDHC cards, one HDMI output, USB connectivity, and more. PhotographyBLOG raves: "Despite this low cost, first impressions of the NX100 are positive, with the usual high build quality that we've come to expect from recent Samsung cameras — there really are no compromises here." Combined with the fact that this is the lowest total price we've seen for this model by $60, you may understand why it earned an Editors' Choice stamp of approval.
Shutterfly coupon: 10% to 30% off prints
Discount: 10% to 30% off via coupon code "PRINT30"
Expires: August 24
Is it worth it?: It is if you act quickly: This sale ends today. But if you can get your act together, this ranks as one of the best deals we've seen this year from Shutterfly, which has become a go-to service for many who need cheap and easy photo prints. You'll save 10% off orders of 25 prints or more, 20% off orders of 50 prints or more, or 30% off orders of 75 prints or more via coupon code "PRINT30." If you've never joined Shutterfly, now's the time for a free membership, which includes free and unlimited picture storage at full resolution, free personalized websites, and 50 free 4x6 prints when you sign up. You can also pick up prints at Target, Walgreens, or CVS in just an hour.
$99 Video or Photo Conversion Credit at PhotoBin
Expires: August 28, credit valid through February 29, 2012
Is it worth it?: This may be one of the cheapest and most efficient ways to archive those family photos and videos onto DVD discs. This deal is good for six VHS to DVD transfers, or 400 scanned photos. It's listed under Groupon Atlanta, but this deal can be purchased and used by anyone nationwide. Even if you own a scanner, this could save you gobs of time — and few of us own the technology to transfer videotapes to DVD. VHS, VHS-C, MiniDV, DV, and Hi8 home videos can be ushered into the digital age with PhotoBin's DVD conversion, making this deal a great excuse to clean out those dusty cardboard storage boxes.
Paper Coterie coupon: $40 off $40 or more
Store: Paper Coterie
Discount: $40 off $40 or more via coupon code "H2SBEGINANYWHERE"
Shipping: Starts at about $6
Expires: August 31
Is it worth it?: How could this not be worth it? You might have thought you were reading a misprint when you saw "$40 off $40 or more," but this deal is smart in two ways. First, the Paper Coterie folks have a chance to introduce its brand-new, smart product line to a host of new customers, and second: You. Save. Big. Make sure to enter coupon code "H2SBEGINANYWHERE" to get this discount on custom memory boxes, photo books, calendars and more. (Yours truly will likely take advantage of this offer, too.)
Serif PhotoPlus X4 for PC
Store: Office Depot
Price: Free after this $60 mail-in rebate plus free s&h with orders over $60
Lowest by: $20
Expires: Aug. 27
Is it worth it?: What, dear deal lovers, beats free? PhotoPlus X4 lets you perform basic edits (like resizing or removing red eye) from image files. You can also restore old photos, add more advanced visual effects, edit RAW files, and more. Just make sure to redeem that rebate and pad your order over $60 to snag free shipping (otherwise, shipping adds $9.95). Other software titles are available for free after rebate; click here to view them.